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Complete the following:
Choose a group in which you are currently involved or have been involved in the past. A group or team associated with a current employer often works the best, but you may also use group experiences from previous employers or community activities. If possible, choose a group that may be experiencing communication difficulties.
Prepare an investigative paper that applies group-related communication theories to your selected group. Include the following in your paper:
Describe the characteristics of the group using all of the criteria below:
Describe whether the team is ongoing (permanent) or ad hoc (temporary).
Is the group a short-term group that will only exist for 1–12 months or is the group a long-standing group that has or will exist for more than one year?
Is the group formal or informal? For example, is the group an official (that is, formal) department or committee at a company or is the group an informal collection of people such as a book club.
Is the group self-managing or does the group have a clear consistent leader?
Is the group best described as a primary work team or a project team? A primary work team generally takes on a variety of tasks (for example, a Human Resources Department or a Maintenance Department). Project teams typically engage in a narrow set of activities such as organizing a specific event or a taking on a single project.
Using the 2007 Benne and Sheats article, “Functional Roles of Group Members,” linked in the Resources under the Required Resources heading, analyze the formal roles and communication roles of group members:
Group members’ task roles.
Group members’ maintenance roles.
Group members’ individual roles.
Using Bruce Tuckman’s (1965) team stages model or Backlund’s 2001 article, “Team Effectiveness,” linked in the Resources under the Required Resources heading, describe the group stages experienced by the group.
Analyze the group norms. Norms are the formal and informal rules groups develop. Many norms are never written down and many are not discussed openly but are still learned by group members.
Describe positive and negative participation behaviors.
Describe the group’s use of technology for communication, such as e-mail, texting, or the Internet.